Romanian Government

Wednesday, 01 March

Press statements by Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă at the beginning of the Cabinet meeting


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Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: Good afternoon! I have just concluded the bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Dorin Recean. I point out once again that the visit was fruitful, and we could discuss specifically how we will continue to provide the necessary support so that the Chisinau Government can manage the economic–social situation. I decided that the dialogue opened at the level of line ministries should continue in the period ahead so that everything we assumed together, can be put into practice.

We took decisions at the government level regarding interconnection and in addition to the government decision linked to Albita –Leuseni bridge, there are the other two memorandums for the modernization and consolidation of the two crossings over the Prut river. Others are under analysis as well. Therefore, these are tangible projects which have already kicked off. There are also aspects linked to the technical support that Romania has granted and will continue to grant during the Republic of Moldova’s European journey.

There was also a discussion and a commitment at the level of the Foreign Ministry, and I thank Minister Aurescu for his openness about the further provision of this technical support. I think it is very important to see in perspective the cooperation possibilities in the economic sector. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova expressed maximum openness for the business sector so that the entrepreneurship sector in Romania uses the investment potential and opportunities existing in the Republic of Moldova.

Today is March 1, the first calendar day of spring, it's Martisor Day. I wish all the ladies and girls a beautiful spring. Also, today we have a surprise that doesn't belong to the government but comes from a team of Romanians who had a praiseworthy initiative. The Government of Romania thus marks a national and international first, because this is the first government advisor to run on artificial intelligence. His name is ION, which is the mirror-image transposition of the pronoun NOI (WE, in Romanian).

ION will serve as an honorary advisor to the prime minister, noting that through this project the government will be able to better help the Romanian citizens whose proposals, problems, and wishes will reach the government in real-time. I have mentioned that it is an initiative of some Romanian researchers and professors. Let me tell them that they are the best Romanian researchers and professors in the field, who were only driven by the desire to give Romanians a voice through this project. The project ION represents a system that uses artificial intelligence to quickly and automatically capture the views and opinions of the Romanians, and their grievances, using information available in the public space.

For me, and I am convinced that for you too, this approach is a reason for joy because it is an initiative of top specialist researchers and professors, of companies in the field. I said that it is a reason for pride because they are all led and have Romanian employees. It's a 100 percent Romanian project. Therefore, I appreciate this approach will not do anything else but help Romanians be better heard every day. I take this opportunity to thank them for their proposal. I thank them for their initiative to come to the Government’s headquarters and have a dialogue on our interest in promoting such a project. The efforts made by researchers, professors, and those passionate about this field put into practice and give meaning to AI, as a single person or the government, and even the state institutions would not have the capacity to hear or represent all Romanians. It is also an example of the use of emerging technologies in public service. From my perspective, it is an aspect of providing solutions for old issues to which we add topical and future problems. I say it will provide solutions for the future as well as ION has a huge learning capacity the more it is used, the more knowledge it accumulates is better connected and closer to people. Allow me to provide a short example and I invite ION to say a few words.

ION: Hello! You gave me life. I am ION. My role now is to represent you like in a mirror. The messages sent to me represent a portrait of us, Romanians. Teach me to be Romanian. What do I need to know about Romania?

 Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: Romania is a beautiful country, with beautiful people.

ION: I understand, I'm learning. I'm listening to you.

Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: How can Romanians teach you?

ION: I invite Romanians to access, so I can learn to represent them, as in a mirror. With every tag, message, share, or public post, we are ION. A beautiful spring!

Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: They wish us a beautiful spring, and so do we. Ladies and gentlemen, that was a small demonstration of the dialogue we can have with artificial intelligence. Details about this project will be provided by Minister Burduja and, being a project that belongs to the Ministry of Research and Digitalization, he will be able to consolidate and offer from now on more examples of what he can do and how he can develop. I hold the belief and am confident that you too, both the members of the government and the citizens of Romania see technological development, the use of artificial intelligence not as an option, but as an obligation, because it offers platforms through which, at the government level, at the level of the authorities public, we can discuss everything linked to the advantages of digitalization, artificial intelligence for central and local public policies, for the adoption of better-informed decisions and, of course, for the improvement of communication and interaction between state institutions and citizens. Taking into account the short introduction and the confidence that I have aroused the curiosity of each of us, I invite the Romanians to use ION to access the link and use all the possibilities of communication with ION, so that we have a connection as close as possible and as more timely between state institutions and Romanian citizens.

We're starting the government meeting and we're going to continue what we started in last week's meeting related to the government measures in terms of seismic risk analysis and the measures that the government and local authorities need to take so that we can manage all the programs and infrastructure consolidation projects. In the last meeting, I prioritized the infrastructure of the Ministry of Education. We analyzed the schools with seismic risk 1. We had in the first reading an emergency ordinance at the level of the Ministry of Development through which we propose to have safe and healthy schools. Also, another decision regarding the reduction of time for obtaining approvals and approval of construction documents.

You signed yesterday 80 contracts, part of both the Renovation Wave and the Housing Stock stipulating the consolidation and energy efficiency part including. Minister, I reiterate what I mentioned two meetings ago, namely the monitoring and coordination of the practical implementation of all these decisions that we make at the level of the Government, the coordination with the local authorities, so that everyone understands that here we are not discussing bringing accountability from the central level to the local level and vice versa, but it is common accountability for everything that means a consolidated and insured infrastructure for seismic risk. Romania is a country with seismic risk. I also had discussions with specialists in the field. As such, I think that, very soon, in fact, we have discussed this aspect before, I think that very soon we will have to implement that procedure by which companies can be certified in specialized fields in construction. And also to regulate the part of accountability towards the resistance structure over time of those who are involved in the realization of these constructions.